From the very beginning, it seems that Charlie Musselwhite was destined to be a bluesman. Born in Mississippi, the cradle of the blues, in 1944, Charlie moved to Memphis at an early age and became immersed in the city’s diverse musical culture. He went to school with Johnny Cash’s brother, Tommy, lived down the road from rockabilly legends Johnny Burnette and Slim Rhodes and went to parties hosted by the “King of Rock ‘N’ Roll,” Elvis Presley.
Charlie’s sound was firmly rooted in Memphis and Chicago-style blues, but it was also injected with the high energy of rock ‘n’ roll. In the mid-sixties, Charlie and Paul Butterfield tapped a whole new audience of young rock fans who were drawn to their high-energy style of blues harp. In 1966,Vanguard Records took note of Charlie’s crossover popularity. Charlie, who still had a day job at the time, signed with Vanguard and recorded the classic album Stand Back!. It was one of the first blues albums marketed to the rock audience and, along with his subsequent albums in the late 60’s and early 70’s, established Charlie as a worldwide touring talent. As one critic wrote at the time,”Charlie Musselwhite is the natural born heir to carry the torch for the big city blues tradition.”
After recording three albums for Vanguard, Charlie moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he still lives. Over the next two decades, he recorded for numerous labels, before signing with Alligator in 1990. His Alligator debut, Ace Of Harps, garnered considerable critical and commercial success. Signature, which followed in 1992, reconfirmed Charlie’s position as a world-class bluesman.